Welcome, gamers, to day three of week eight in our 100 reviews in 100 days. We’ve got another titan on our hands today.
Slashing his way into the 58 spot….
Think for a while, and come up with some of the greatest bosses possible for a video game. Come up with some good ones? I’d bet a couple of them were Gods, but for an action/adventure game, no other would do, than what you get in God of War.
Game of Legends
God of War was released on PlayStation 2 and immediately made an impact on gaming. The story was fairly basic, but matched the feeling of Greek mythology fairly well. Kratos is a champion of the gods, seeking to gain redemption from them for an egregious act in his past (revealed slowly as the story progresses). Kratos is given one final task to perform. Aries, the god of war, is out of control, his armies are destroying the world. Defeat and kill Aries, and the gods of Olympus will forgive Kratos’ sins.
So begins your journey. God of War is a hack and slash action/adventure game that, while also containing puzzles that range from simple to complex, is all about the fighting. From magic, to new weapons, to Kratos’ original Blades of Chaos, it’s about as bloody as it can be for the graphics of the time. While the fights can begin to get a bit repetitive, the ‘Quick Time Events’ break it up enough to keep you involved. Not to mention the enemies you are fighting are epic, in the old sense of the word. Gorgons, Minotaur, and even a Hydra are among the foes you face as Kratos. All of it is to gain access to Pandora’s Box, wherein, Kratos is told, lays the power to defeat Aries. It leads to a final battle with the God of War himself, Aries, and it doesn’t disappoint.
Kratos is a brutal character. Never would or could I call him a hero. He may sometimes do acts of good, but his extreme acts of violence and brutality are far more frequent. Kratos is not a black and white character. After years of playing heroes with destinies to save the world, the beautiful princess, or to stand up for some glorious idea of a greater good, playing Kratos was exhilarating. While his end goal may be set by the Gods of Olympus, who are overall good, Kratos himself is not. For him, the ends justify the means, and often the means are destructive, savage, and a godly level of violence. With his twin blades of chaos, his unique style of fighting and prowess in battle could easily rank Kratos among the greatest warriors of the video game universe.
God of War blurs the line between keeping faithful to Greek mythology and carving out a unique story. To me, it does a good job in this. To be fair, the Greeks kind of made it easy, because of how many different legends they had for the gods. Often times, there can be found different versions of the same story. God of War didn’t strictly follow Greek Mythology, and it kind of felt like that was a good thing. But now and again you’d find yourself surprised by something from authentic, classic mythology, that fits in just as well as one created for the game alone.
One of the biggest surprises was when I found out that the name Kratos actually has a place in real Greek mythology. Son of Pallas and Styx, he’s actually one of the three tasked with binding Prometheus. While his story has no relation to the Kratos from God of War, it was still cool to find the name among the Gods and Titans.
To Kill a God
God of War is an epic game. But it has some flaws. While there are a several combos to unlock for Kratos, but eventually I found myself returning to the same two or three that worked best, and they eventually became a bit repetitive. As I said earlier though, the Quick Time Events and puzzles in the game mixed it up just enough to keep it fun. There was a lot in God of War. The labyrinth that guards Pandora’s Box and the story behind it can be found as you navigate though it is a fun experience. And the fact that it all leads up to a ‘Megazord’ type battle with Aries himself makes every moment worth it. With God of War 2 and 3, the developers learned to trim off the fat, and seemed better, faster, and dare I say, stronger, than the first game.
God of War gets a 4.5 out of 5. I’ll just have to hope Kratos doesn’t come knocking for that last half a point.